Poultry association seeks import protection to save industry
By Bekezela Phakathi - Mar 3rd 2017, 08:29
The poultry industry could create up to 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, including grain jobs if SA did not import chickens.
This is according to the South African Poultry Association (Sapa), which says the industry is in trouble because of an oversupply of chickens from the EU flooding the local market.
The association, which appeared in Parliament this week, is lobbying the government to intervene, failing which thousands of jobs could be lost.
Drought, which resulted in a spike in the price of chicken feed, also contributed to the industry’s distress.
Sapa CEO Kevin Lovell said: "The survival of this industry — food security, the rural economy and 130,000 workers and their families — is largely in the hands of government…. If government helps us survive, we can grow and contribute substantially to the future of our country."
Lovell said some companies were about to shed a few thousand jobs. In February, Rainbow retrenched 1,350 workers, including managers. Country Bird was set to close down its Mahikeng abattoir and 939 direct and 1,605 indirect jobs would be lost without government intervention, said Lovell.
The local industry and unions argue that the EU is selling chicken legs, thighs and wings below cost. But the EU has said its farmers are simply more competitive than their counterparts in SA.
In December, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies approved a provisional 13.9% safeguard duty on European bone-in chicken in terms of SA’s economic partnership agreement with the EU. Sapa said this was not enough. The association had applied for a 37% safeguard duty on the imports in 2015.
DA MP and agriculture spokeswoman Annette Steyn said on Thursday the poultry industry needed protection, especially after the drought period when the cost of chicken feed increased massively.
Swine fever epidemic may slash China's pig herd by half
30/07/2019 - 10:52
China’s pig herd could halve by the end of 2019 from a year earlier as an epidemic of African swine fever sweeps through the world’s top pork producer, analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank forecast.
There's no truth to importers' threats about 'expensive' chicken
05/06/2019 - 08:58
Don't rely on the chicken importers for the facts. In a massive public relations exercise to turn opinion against higher import tariffs, they have relied on assertion, misdirection, misinformation, and bluster. Facts are few and far between.
Avocado industry should focus on Chinese market, says Agbiz
13/05/2019 - 09:57
The chamber said the increased exports are a major boost to the government's policy ambition of achieving export-led growth in agriculture.
SA set to remain a net importer of wheat
09/05/2019 - 10:22
Despite improvements in production, the country will not be able to meet demand and imports could keep driving up food inflation.
Agriculture's important contribution to SA economy
26/03/2019 - 10:17
The South African agricultural industry might be seen by some as simply another role player in the economy, but our farmers cannot be thanked enough for the absolutely necessary work they are doing.